AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 15, 2011)Whole Foods Market is teaming up with nonprofit EARTH University to give shoppers a chance to win one of five spots on a trip to “study abroad” on the university’s lush campus in Costa Rica, where it grows bananas for Whole Foods Market.

On this seven-day adventure in and near Guácimo, Limón, winners will experience how EARTH University’s hands-on teaching approach is preparing leaders in sustainable agriculture, responsible business and community development, and see how EARTH’s rich and creamy bananas are ethically grown and shipped to Whole Foods Market. The five lucky travelers will also take in the sights, enjoying a dolphin-watching cruise along the country’s Caribbean coastline and basking on the beaches of Puerto Viejo.

“EARTH University is producing so much more than delicious fruit; it’s shaping leaders who are making positive changes in the world and giving low-income students an opportunity to create a brighter future for themselves, their communities and the planet as a whole,” said Michael Besancon, senior global vice president of purchasing, distribution and communications for Whole Foods Market. “We’re thrilled to offer our shoppers a chance to see first-hand how EARTH is leading the charge in protecting our precious resources for generations to come.”

To enter the giveaway between September 15 and 30, and for details, visit:

Located in the fertile rainforest of Costa Rica, EARTH University was founded with the mission to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to the sustainable development of their countries.

“At EARTH, our students spend a lot of time in the field applying the science and technology they learn in the classroom,” said EARTH provost Daniel Sherrard. “This makes for a very engaging and exciting learning experience. Now, in addition to making a difference by purchasing EARTH University products, Whole Foods Market customers have a chance to become EARTH students for a week and learn about sustainable agriculture in the tropics in a fun and interactive way.”


In addition to fresh bananas, Whole Foods Market also offers frozen EARTH University™ bananas and pineapples. Sales of all EARTH University fruits help to make it possible for students at EARTH University to become leaders of change for a more prosperous and just world.

 All of Whole Foods Market’s EARTH University offerings are part of the grocer’s Whole Trade program. To earn the Whole Trade Guarantee seal, growers must be certified that they ensure fair wages and safe working conditions while caring for the environment.

 Learn more about EARTH University at: For more on the Whole Trade program, visit: